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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Election Day Approaches - Some Thoughts

More than ever, I ask recipients of this blog to pass it on to others.  Give them the link (www.jackspotpourri.com) ... or just copy and paste into your own Emails.  Unabashedly, this posting is entirely political.

Some of it had already been distributed in various forms to politically active friends, but all recipients of this blog are still asked to pass it on to at least half a dozen contacts.  Please.   It can make a difference on Election Day.   To paraphrase John Donne, "Ask not for whom the rooster crows.  It crows for YOU.  Wake up!"

Republicans!  Please Read This

A word of advice to Republicans in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as to those who, for one reason or another, vote Republican:  When You Sleep With Dogs, You Get Fleas! 

The President, by virtue of his vicious and irrational attacks on those who legitimately disagree with him, gives encouragement to seriously disturbed individuals who go on to commit violent acts, and therefore, he cannot escape sharing in their guilt!  He cannot take back the words he speaks and the gestures he makes when he addresses 
“his base” at rallies.  Donald J. Trump is their accomplice, whether or not he likes it and regardless of whether or not he is ever indicted for his encouragement of their illegal actions.

Wise up, Republicans!  You have sold your party to the devil!  Evangelical Christians, especially, should be well aware of this and repent before they too are consigned to join with him in Hades for eternity.  

Remember, Republican voters, when you sleep with dogs, you get fleas! 

From a recent posting on this blog, I include the following:  "After the February 2018 shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in a New York Times op-ed piece, advocated the repeal of the Second Amendment with these very logical words:

“Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that ‘a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.'  Today that concern is a relic of the Eighteenth century.”

Now, don't Stevens' words make sense in 2018?  A Supreme Court which continues to believe otherwise is also complicit in the violence made possible by their gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment.
Jack Lippman

Health Care is the Decisive Issue!

Things all Americans should know about the most important issue in the 2018 mid-term elections which is, according to almost all polls, HEALTH CARE:

A Nine Point Primer on Health Care in 2018

1. MEDICARE - In 1965, Medicare came into being for seniors.   It is now taken for granted.  But Republicans want to chip away at what it provides, because they say it costs too much and creates a deficit.  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has targeted it (along with the Obamacare, Medicaid and Social Security) in speeches on the Senate floor!  I am not making this up. Take his word for it!  Republicans will not admit that increases in the deficit are the result of 2018 tax cuts for business and the wealthy.  These are what has ballooned the deficit, not Medicare! 

2. MEDICAID - Medicaid provides health care for mostly poor people through state programs.  The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) offers states money to improve their Medicaid programs.  This offer has been refused by many States because it is an “Obama” program.  Although it costs the states nothing, many (including Florida) refuse to accept this added money, preferring to allow the poor to suffer.

3. SINGLE PAYER - Most Western industrialized countries have a “single payer” health insurance program (call it “Medicare for Everyone”) with the government as the single insurer.   The taxes to pay for these “single payer” plans are far less than the money we currently spend on our patched-up program of health insurance from private companies and the government which is paid for by the premium payments of insureds, their employers and taxation!  But these countries’ “single payer” programs are not “socialized medicine.” That would involve their doctors being government employees and their hospitals being owned by the government.   With some exceptions, that is not the case.  (Actually, our own Veterans Administration programs fit that definition and are “socialized medicine,” and most veterans in that system praise it.)  But ”single payer” plans are not “socialized medicine” despite what chronic liars like Trump and most Fox News people say.   They lie.  

4. G.O.P. ATTACKS ON OBAMACARE - Republicans in Congress have chipped away at the Affordable Care Act by (a) doing away with its mandatory provisions (tax penalty for non-participants) eliminating many young healthy people from the pool of insureds, resulting in the insurers increasing the cost for everyone else, (b) made it more difficult for Obamacare’s insurers to collect what is due them from the government, and (c) made it more difficult for people to sign up for “Obamacare.” 

5. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS - Republicans now claim to be in support of giving coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, as the Affordable Care Act (and also Medicare) does, despite their voting to repeal it 70 times over the past few years!  Pure hypocrisy!  They lie! With “pre-existing condition” policy provisions, people with heart, kidney and cancer histories would be left uninsured.  Republicans, including the President, are bald-faced liars, and have fought giving coverage to those with pre-existing medical histories at every possible opportunity.  They are now lying, saying they support what they have fought against for years, because it is dawning on them that providing such coverage is extremely popular with most Americans.  They feel that it is better to lie than to lose.  That’s the Republican way.

6. THOSE WHO "DO WITHOUT" - Minor health issues become expensive major ones when people without insurance don’t get regular health care due to not having the money to pay for it.  Emergency Rooms are no substitute for health care (as Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis suggests) and their routine use increases hospital costs and insurance premiums for everyone else. 

7. WHO PAYS FOR HEALTH CARE - Employers got into the habit of providing health insurance during the Second World War when salary increases were limited.  They gave employees health insurance instead!  Now they find this to be a tremendous financial burden and are stopping doing it, leaving many uninsured.  Otherwise, its cost risks putting them out of business. What was once a drop in the bucket is now a major budget item for them.  Who will pick up this burden now?  Tax-supported “single payer” insurance such as “Medicare for All,” would be the solution.  Most Americans recognize this.   Most Republicans do not.

8. BANKRUPTCY - The greatest single cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is a family’s losing its money, savings and home (through foreclosure) because of having to pay medical bills.  This is even true of people with some insurance!   A single payer “Medicare for All” program would help resolve this.  Expensive private Medicare supplements are too expensive for many.  While Medicare Advantage Plans, which are an essential part of Medicare, may provide a financial solution for many, they severely limit a patient’s choice of doctors and hospitals.

9. CHEAP HEALTH INSURANCE - Republicans, including the President, are pushing skimpy, cheap short-term health insurance plans to replace the Affordable Care Act’s plans.  These plans, originally intended for people who were between jobs, do not cover pre-existing conditions, must be reapplied for every year, are cancellable and have extremely limited benefits.  They are, indeed, better than nothing, but even suggesting them as a solution to our health care challenges is a sorry statement to pitch to citizens of the world’s richest nation.  But that is exactly what the Republicans are doing.

                                                                    *  *  *  *  *

After reading this, there is no alternative for Americans who recognize Health Care as the pre-eminent issue in the 2018 Mid-Term elections but to vote for every Democratic candidate on their ballot and reject any Republican candidate.  It is that simple.

If any Republican, including Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan or even Donald Trump wishes to contest anything appearing above, they can Email or telephone me.   My number is in the book.  Their response (or those of anyone else) may appear in a future posting.  I know they will not, however, because what appears above is the truth, and Republicans are well aware that their positions are based on lies.

The Grand Tsunami

As we get closer and closer to the mid-term elections, it becomes clearer and clearer that the important issues which will draw Democratic and independent voters to the polls are (1) Health Care, (2) An economy producing “real jobs,” not just minimum wage dead end positions and (3) Reducing gun violence

But there is a strong and powerful current energizing Democratic efforts in all three of these areas.  It is the participation of the many women who are feeling, for the first time, a sense of empowerment which extends into the voting booth.  There are more women running for local, state and national office than ever before.  Women far outnumber men among the volunteers making telephone calls, registering voters, knocking on doors and participating in demonstrations.

Historians will note that this is the time when women stepped out of the background and assumed a role equal to men in our society.  Look at the women in high corporate positions such as Susan Sandberg at Facebook and Mary Barra at General Motors.  Look at the extreme popularity of the Hulu TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the novel which inspired it, surgically analyzing the role of women in society.  Look at important films such as “The Wife” where the title character played by Glenn Close is identified as the real writer of her Nobel Prize winning husband’s books and “A Star is Born” where the woman ultimately displaces the man as the leader in their artistic partnership. All of these represent the end of the era of women being “used” and the recognition of their innate talent and power.

Look at the correspondents, anchors and panelists on TV news programs.  Many, if not most, are now women where years ago, men prevailed.  At the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings regarding Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment, recall the roles played by Democrats Diane Feinstein, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar.  Contrast this with the stubborn and graying old men who represented the Republicans on that Committee.

During the 2016 Republican nominating process, Donald Trump repeatedly insulted former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, and got away with it.  He didn’t like the way she looked.  His continuing disrespect for women is well documented, and his Republican colleagues and lackeys just look the other way.  Well, they cannot get away with that with the women who are voting in 2018.  No way!   It’s a tough new world in which backward looking conservative Republicans cannot stop the grand tsunami of woman voters which will turn the tide in the 2018 mid-term elections and help to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from being attacked, along with “Obamacare,” by reactionary Republicans.

This will be “the Year of the Women” at the polls.  BE PART OF IT.  Mentooare invited.

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Jack Lippman 

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